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Asian art

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A winged deity

2nd century BCE-1st century BCE


Unknown Artist


This plaque depicting a standing male figure is possibly a representation of a winged deity, perhaps a gandharva, associated with fertility, marriage and the protection of virgins. He is depicted as an upright figure with a round face, wide eyes and full lips. He wears a distinctive and heavy turban, large wheel-like earrings, bangles on his proper right arm and an elaborately woven lower garment belted with a sash. The sophisticated dress of this richly dressed figure reflects the burgeoning wealth of a very early urban and middle-class society who now had money to spend on art objects and architectural decoration. It would seem that such plaques were made to be hung on a wall, perhaps in a temple.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, March 1995


Other Title

Standing male figure

Place where the work was made

Chandraketugarh West Bengal India


2nd century BCE-1st century BCE

Media category


Materials used

moulded terracotta plaque with applied surface decoration


28.0 x 14.0 cm

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Purchased 1994


Not on display

Accession number


The provenance of this work is under review and records will be updated as new details become available. The Gallery welcomes any information. Contact


Art of the Past, pre Oct 1994, United States of America

Referenced in 2 publications


Pratapaditya Pal, Indian sculpture: a catalogue of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art collection, Los Angeles, 1986. General reference - comparable examples

Pratapaditya Pal, Orientations, 'Sensuous Spirituality: Hindu and Buddhist Art from the Indic Cultural Realm', pg. 80-87, Hong Kong, Sep 2000, 84 (colour illus.). fig.8